October 22, 2013
Seven years ago, my world ended.
Seven years later, my new life began.
It’s been seven years since Lexi Knight lost her brother in a tragic accident. On the anniversary of his death, her brother’s best friend shows up unexpectedly – a man she hasn’t seen since the funeral. He is no longer the boy Lexi once knew, but a dangerous-looking man with tattoos and dark secrets. He broke her trust and abandoned her family, yet what he reveals makes it impossible to stay angry. Lexi has been secretly infatuated with Austin since childhood, so finding out he’s a Shifter just makes him sexier. Dammit.
Austin Cole has returned to the city where he grew up, and just in time. He’s lived a hard life these past seven years, and the shadows of his past are threatening to destroy Lexi’s family. It’s time that she learned the truth about her brother, but there is a shocking twist that Austin never saw coming. Now he must protect her family when her mother and sister wind up in mortal danger. Will Lexi learn to accept the truth about who he is, and can Austin salvage a relationship from the ruins of their past?
BRAINE: Hi Dannika! Congratulations on SEVEN YEARS! Let me get to the meat of things, what is the series, Seven about?
DANNIKA DARK: Thanks so much for having me! The Seven Series is a paranormal romance that focuses on the lives of Shifters. SEVEN YEARS is the first in the series and centers around a young woman named Lexi who is stuck in an ordinary life that seems to be falling apart. On the anniversary of her brother’s death, an old family friend comes back in town she hasn’t seen since the funeral. Austin Cole has a few secrets to tell about who he is and where he’s been. As the story unfolds, we find out that there is a world of Breed living in secret among humans. The series follows Austin’s family of brothers who have recently formed a pack.
BRAINE: The book titles for Seven sounds like it’s counting down to something, can you give us a hint on what it’s counting down to?
DANNIKA DARK: I’d probably say the final book [One Second]. 😉 Each title directly relates to a span of time within the book that is relevant to that specific story.
BRAINE: The first book is, SEVEN YEARS, can you tell us something extra on top of the blurb & excerpt?
DANNIKA DARK: This is the kind of story that will appeal to those who really love a good romance. I’m really big on endings, so I always make sure that readers will walk away feeling good about the story.So, no cliffhangers.
BRAINE: I’m the opposite, I love cliffhangers! So the blurb also says light paranormal romance, what’s the focus of SEVEN YEARS?
DANNIKA DARK: SEVEN YEARS is a blend of paranormal and romance, but not too heavy on the world-building in that readers are drowning in flashbacks of ancient times or having to figure out all the Breed laws. I wanted the real focus to be on paranormal beings (Shifters) who live ordinary lives (as much as can be expected) and meet someone who changes them. The focus will be on friendship, love, family, romance, passion, and finding out where a person fits in your life.
BRAINE: Sounds like this will appeal to contemporary readers too if that’s the case. How is writing SEVEN YEARS different from the Mageri books & Closer?
DANNIKA DARK: The Mageri series evolves into a complex story with heavy subject matter and intense scenes on a grander scale. SEVEN YEARS has a different feel, one I’ve enjoyed writing because I’ve allowed the story to have more humor and realness to it that made it a breath of fresh air. Usually at the end of writing a Mageri book, I need a bottle of wine and a four-day nap. I’m emotionally spent because the material is much darker. That’s not to say the Seven Series won’t have it’s dark moments, but it’s really nice to be able to focus on one Breed type (Shifters), whereas the Mageri series has main characters of all different Breeds and there is much to consider on the politics and how they interact.
BRAINE: Does the series follow Lexi Knight and Austin Cole all throughout or do the main characters change with every book?
DANNIKA DARK: This series will have main character changes through each book, but it’s all part of the same story, so you’ll see the same people. I think that’s what’s made it both equally exciting and challenging. Each book, I get to know a new set of characters that I’m familiar with, but I have to dig deep to find out what makes them tick. In many ways, it’s more difficult than writing an Urban Fantasy.
BRAINE: Fans of Mageri have grown to love Silver, how does Lexi compare?
DANNIKA DARK: I’ve enjoyed writing Silver because she’s been on a huge learning curve with her new life in the Mageri series. She’s never known the love of family and has trust issues, so that’s been her biggest obstacle to overcome. Lexi, on the other hand, knows what’s important in her life. She knows what she does and doesn’t want. They are both independent women, but Lexi has been a doll to write because she loves life and has a great sense of humor, despite everything that’s happened in her life. She’s resilient and optimistic, even if she’s a little damaged.
BRAINE: What should fans expect from SEVEN YEARS?
DANNIKA DARK: Laughter, toe-curling, suspense, and maybe a few tingles. 😉
BRAINE: What’s your next project book-wise?
DANNIKA DARK: Six Months (Seven Series: #2) I hope to begin working on a separate urban fantasy series in 2014 while I’m publishing the Seven Series.
The closer I snuggled up to Austin, the more I craved that cozy familiarity—more than I would have cared to admit. I’d missed him. How do you not miss someone who was a huge chunk of your childhood and young-adult life who disappeared off the face of the earth? Almost every memory I had from kindergarten to age twenty involved Austin Cole.
The next thing I knew, my cheek rested on his bicep and I tucked my body against his like a puzzle piece. Just when I closed my heavy eyelids, he groaned.
Oh God, please don’t let him wake up now.
It was deep and guttural, and he shifted on his right side, facing me.
“You okay?” he murmured.
I didn’t reply. I played dead and pretended I was asleep. It seemed like a good plan to avoid the embarrassment of explaining why I was latched on to him like a man-sucking leech.
A rough, warm hand cupped my cheek and I felt him scoot down a little. Maybe he thought I had fallen asleep, because his thumb brushed over my right eyelid softly.
Five times. I counted.
When his lips lightly touched mine, my brain just shut down. It was a soft, almost nonexistent kiss, but I felt it all the way down to my toes. Then it zinged back up to my hips and damn if I didn’t moan.
Now we were both aware I wasn’t asleep and he was kissing me. But it didn’t stop. His kiss pressed a little bit harder and tingles roared through my body, and my breath was shaky and erratic.
When his tongue touched my lip, I quickly opened my mouth and kissed him back.
Kissed him like I’d fantasized about doing for the last seven years.
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Down in Texas, there’s a woman who drinks copious amounts of vitamin water placed precariously close to her laptop. Yeah, I know. I’ve got a drinking problem. Hi, I’m Danni.
Some people count sheep when they have insomnia. Since I was little, I used to make up stories in my head in a futile attempt to bore myself to sleep. The problem was, I’d get so wrapped up in my “head stories” that I would continue them through the following nights, changing it up each time to make it more exciting. Eventually, I started writing my ideas down more and more, creating short stories which evolved into poetry.
Another one of my hobbies is digital art. I designed all my book covers.
I am finally doing what I have always wanted to: giving my characters a pulse through publishing. I write adult urban fantasy romance, but I don’t like labels. I let the story tell itself, and color outside the lines. I am not a YA author, but I think it’s pretty great that there are so many books available to teens in Urban Fantasy and Paranormal. These are the future readers!
1st prize: 1 autographed paperback of Seven Years 1 key necklace 5 autographed bookmarks
2nd prize: 1 autographed paperback of Seven Years 5 autographed bookmarks
3rd prize: 1 Dannika Dark ebook (Winner’s choice) 5 autographed bookmarks